Welcoming offers wider opportunities for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally. This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.
We advocate for the prioritisation of personal safety over “national security”. Our services are geared toward offering migrants, asylum seekers and refugees a fair access to basic services.
The fundamental dignity of every human person needs to be respected. We strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.
Protecting requires defending the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status. Defending rights and dignity is an ongoing process to facilitate integration through justice and health care services, and fair access to work, education and housing that allow people to live independently.
It also seeks to eliminate all that hinders integration: illegal and abusive work practices, excessive bureaucracy, inhuman living conditions. All should be guaranteed a minimum basic income, and the opportunity to have a work permit.
Our economies are built on human ingenuity and skills. Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them, when their true potential is duly recognised and valued.
Promoting implies safeguarding fundamental human rights as well as empowering migrants to achieve their full potential as human beings for the benefit of all.
It requires the promotion of social inclusion through language instruction and cultural programmes that promote active citizenship. It demands the removal of any barriers to health, education, and employment, because of prejudice, racism or xenophobia.
The family’s integrity must always be promoted by supporting family reunifications – including siblings, grandparents and other extended family – independent of financial constraints.
Integrating is about creating opportunities for intercultural enrichment. Neither ghettoization nor assimilation that suppresses cultural identity are desirable. We must build bridges, not walls. We must enrich our collective memory, not forget our different pasts.
Fostering a culture of encounter teaches us to be more open to the other. In a plural society, diversity is a richness not a threat. Creating opportunities for intercultural exchange eases the process of mutual learning in grassroot communities. An attitude of openness rather than fear, of respect rather than prejudice, will build communities that contribute to the well-being of all.
All this must start in schools, but also in parishes, communities and neighbourhoods. We have much that we already share. We have an exciting journey ahead of us to come to truly reflect the beauty of cultural and religious diversity in a new Malta.
Along the years the Commission assisted Maltese people who emigrated to settle and built their families and futures in migrant countries like Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States. Nowadays the Commission is still a point of reference for those who might choose to return to retire in Malta, or who visit with their children and grandchildren to reconnect with their cultural roots. The Commission keeps contacts with various Maltese cultural organisations in many countries to promote the uniqueness of “Maltese culture” everywhere.
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The Commission has a depository of archives with records of over 30,000 Maltese emigrants dating back to the 1950s and records of immigrants to Malta since 1993. Archives are kept according to the GDPR Regulations and may be consulted for research purposes.
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